Anarchy, D.I.Y. and Building a Community
Politically, I constantly waffle between a desire for utopian anarchy, with no need for order because people will just respect each other, and a desire to have a governments that will take care of people with important benefits and services. I think this mindset is very American. When it comes down to it though, on a personal level I lean a little bit more toward anarchy. This is why I used to go to that nice little anarchist bookstore on Haight street. It’s where I first saw blueprints for intentional communities in a book. It’s where I bought Making Stuff and Doing Things (ostensibly as a gift for my cousin, but I took it for myself when he was done reading it), a D.I.Y. manual for everything from compost toilet construction to making your own cat food to making a secret stash box from an old 8-track tape. I don’t need to tell you how much I love this book. The D.I.Y ethic appeals to me on many levels. Not just the punk D.I.Y. ethic, but the more grown up, country housewife version (an example can be found at down—to—earth), and even, to a lesser extent, the popular culture Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, Martha Stewart versions.
I don’t want to sound like a *cringe* hippie, but I really get tired of the consumer culture sometimes. I often long to get away from it. Living in an apartment in Braddon, so close to shopping areas, it’s hard to escape.
All I want is a small house, a big yard with a vegetable garden, a herb garden and a chicken coop. There will be a bike shed and a compost heap and a small play area made from recycled materials, and, if I’m lucky, the house will be recycled too. Like this one (-via Neatorama). In fact, why not expand this ethic to a community? A tool lending library, a bike sharing program and a neighborhood garden are easy enough to set up. A sewing circle devoted to re-purposing old clothes is a fun community building exercise and a local food co-op can save people money while supporting local growers and again, encouraging a sense of community. Why am I not doing any of this? I’ve got to go. There’s so much work to do.